Best CPU for NVIDIA RTX 3070 in 2024

It may be well over three years old at this point, but the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 still stands tall as one of the best graphics cards you can put in a gaming PC. With its excellent 1440p performance, more than enough headroom to handle ultrawide gaming, and reliable ray tracing capabilities, you'll have no complaints with one in your system. I got one for my own rig in early 2021, and it's still going strong even with the latest and greatest games cranked up to High and Ultra settings.

To get the most out of this mid-range beast, though, you'll want to pair it with a quality CPU from Intel or AMD. You'll need one to provide the processing power the card needs for maximum performance — and luckily, you're spoiled for choice, with plenty of great processors available. Here are some of the best CPUs for the RTX 3070 that I recommend.

Intel vs. AMD: Which to choose?

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The rivalry between Intel and AMD is arguably the fiercest it's ever been right now, which is great news for folks like you and me that are buying their processors for our computers. Generally, I'd say Intel offers better value at the moment with better performance and lower costs in many cases, though I'd steer clear of Intel 14th Gen for now. Team Red has wins of its own, too, and honestly, you can't really go wrong no matter what you go with.

Something that's worth keeping in mind, though, is that Intel's moving on from the LGA 1700 socket starting with its next generation of chips, while AMD's only just begun with AM5. That means its current ecosystem has a better path for future upgrades, saving you money you'd have to spend on a new motherboard later by going with Intel now. However, choosing AM5 means getting pricier DDR5 memory, which is something you don't have to do with DDR4-compatible 12th or 13th Gen Intel CPUs.

Choosing the best CPU for NVIDIA RTX 3070

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 is still a top choice for gamers looking to enjoy an awesome gaming experience without overspending. Even three years later, it continues to power through everything I've thrown at it, and I couldn't be happier with the upgrade from my 2070 I made back in early 2021.

These are some of the best CPUs available right now, and happen to also be good CPUs for the RTX 3070 that'll ensure you get peak performance out of it. If I had to recommend one over all the others, it'd be the i5-13600K, as it either beats or is fiercely competitive with the entire Ryzen 7000 series of processors, yet only costs about $300 or so. However, they're all excellent choices, and if you have an AM4 motherboard already or want to move to the futureproof AM5 ecosystem, Team Red chips like the Ryzen 7 5800X or Ryzen 9 7900X won't disappoint.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

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